BMW owned Rolls Royce has finally seen the light and decided to go full English with the all-new second-generation ultra-luxury Rolls Royce Ghost. It’s built on an all-new aluminum foundation and discards the BMW 7 Series chassis upon which the first generation was built around. The exterior design language is an evolution of the previous form factor. The Ghost was always an elegant brutalist design and the 2020 updates are subtle yet distinctively Ghost. All in all, it looks expensive, and if you removed the RR badges and showed this to an alien from Proxima-b that alien would most probably exclaim, “that look’s expensive”.
Light-hearted humor aside (if indeed it is humourous), the attention to detail Rolls Royce designers and engineers have paid to the all-new Ghost is second to none. Firstly the engine is the same 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine powering the bigger Phantom. The Ghost retains the same power bandwidth and delivers 563bhp and 623lb ft of torque which is available at 1,600rpm. The 0-62mph time takes just 4.8 seconds. And to make sure you never hear that V12 from within, Rolls Royce added over 100kg of sound-deading material.
The Ghost is a recipient of a “Magic Carpet” suspension. The new arrangement is based on a Planar suspension setup which to my knowledge was first used by Studebaker and Jeep in the mid-20th century. While the Studebaker system partly relied on old-fashioned leaf suspension the Ghost incorporates a kind-of double suspension comprising of a multi-link and damper/wishbone assembly.
Rolls Royce believes this suspension is so good that it delivers unparalleled levels of stability and damping control while creating a floating almost effortless level of ride quality. And on top of that, the Ghost will be able to deliver sports-car levels of handling. Although the latter is debatable when you consider it weighs 2.4 tonnes. Nevertheless, the Ghost also receives all-wheel steering and all-wheel drive that only serves to enhance low-speed maneuverability and generous levels of grip.
The all-new Ghost is slightly larger and longer than the previous generation, 3cm wider to be specific. The entire body is made of Aluminium with some areas being hand made. Yet the Ghost is thoroughly modern and utilizes the latest in technology. Gear shifts are GPS guided, to optimize performance. You also get a digital driver’s display and infotainment system crammed with whatever infotainment systems can do these days. Although we think the use of ambient lighting in the front grille will appeal to the Instagramers of this world.
Technology aside, it’s the finer details that Rolls Royce does better than any other luxury marque. It’s traditional things like the quality of the hide, the comfort of the seats, the use of real materials such as wood, leather, metal. The fully automated doors that open and close at the touch of a button. In addition to an interior so finely crafted, there are no equals, so much so that it makes you forget about the underlying technology that makes the whole thing go.
So how much does the whole thing cost? £208,000. Rolls Royce customers often spend double that amount on options. Pandemic or no pandemic, recession or no recession, modern economics and policies have rendered the super-wealthy untouchable.